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‘The Scorch Trials’ is successful overall second installment of series

Brenna Bochenek, Production Editor

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In the sequel to The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials builds upon the dystopian world created in the novels by James Dashner. In this film, Thomas and his friends have escaped the maze and now have to navigate the strange outside world that they know virtually nothing about.

As a fan of both the first book and movie adaptation, I had high expectations going into the second installment of the franchise. Even though I thought The Maze Runner did a decent job of maintaining originality in a culture filled with young adult dystopian fiction, The Scorch Trials did not keep up that level of uniqueness. It followed overused plotlines and featured character archetypes that are the same across all books and movies that are geared towards teens. It had the stereotypical villain, Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) who only wants to help the “greater good” (think Kate Winslet in Divergent). There’s even a zipline scene, which was (again) already used in Divergent.

In terms of action and visual effects, I would call The Scorch Trials excellent. The movie has a nice mix of intense action and calm bits of dialogue. I also enjoyed the high pressure situations and how well CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) was used to create the destroyed dystopian city. Spoiler alert: there are zombies and they are pretty awesome. By awesome, I mean disgusting, screeching and very creepy. The visual effects on the zombies were definitely one of the aspects of the filmmaking process that was done very well.  If zombies are one of your worst fears, I do not recommend this movie for you.

However, the fantastic effects were not enough to make up for the predictability of the plot. Without revealing too much, I can say that the last 10 minutes of the film are very intense and what takes place is really not surprising. Overall, I’d say this film is high on entertainment value if you enjoy action, but low on plot and character development. The Scorch Trials was just good enough to keep me interested in seeing the final installment, The Death Cure, which will hit theatres in February 2017.

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‘The Scorch Trials’ is successful overall second installment of series